It has been over five months since Alex Trebek, longtime host of iconic syndicated game show “Jeopardy!” passed away from cancer at the age of 80. At the time of his death he still had ample amount of recorded game episodes to be run through weekly, but once they were finished the production turned to a series of guest hosts handling a few weeks’ worth of “Jeopardy!” episodes each, as no full-time replacement was announced for Trebek whose final contract kept him as host until 2022. The next celebrity up to host the game show is CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, and he is seeking tips from the first guest host.
CNN tells us that their network anchor Anderson Cooper has corresponded with “Jeopardy!” long-streak winner Ken Jennings, who was the first celebrity host of the long-running game show following the death of Alex Trebek and the airing of all his completed episodes. Jennings, whose guest-hosting stint lasted from January 11 to February 19 this year, remarked that the best course of action for a “Jeopardy!” host was merely to copy how the late Alex Trebek did things, which in his opinion, was minimal because the game sort of “runs itself.”
“The great thing about ‘Jeopardy’ is the game kind of runs itself,” says Jennings in response to Cooper’s query. “If you watch Alex, he had this light touch where he would do, you know, sometimes the least possible.” The one-time 74-episode returning winner of “Jeopardy!” noted that Trebek never let the camera stay on him too long and instead moved any in-game conversations in the direction of the episode’s contestants. And while, Jennings opines, he thinks Cooper will not really realize the gravity of hosting the show until he was on the host’s podium, the “Less is more” approach seems to be the best one.
If nothing else, Anderson Cooper is no stranger to being on the “Jeopardy!” set. He was a contestant on several occasions for the game show’s Celebrity edition. He will be the sixth celebrity host to helm “Jeopardy!” with his tenure lasting two weeks. His predecessors include Ken Jennings, “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune” executive producer Mike Richards, journalist and KCM founder Katie Couric, “Dr. Oz Show” host Dr. Mehmet Oz, and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. Following him are other TV and news luminaries like “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker, actress/scientist Mayim Bialik, NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
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